What sets successful people apart? High achievers have been found to possess certain characteristics that are integral to success. Whatever your goals in life, if you develop the characteristics of an ambitious person, you’ll make progress towards your outcomes and have more chance of success.

Consider the experience of elite athletes. They obviously have an innate skill in their chosen sport, but they weren’t born performing at an Olympic standard. They worked hard to develop their skills, because they possessed certain characteristics – drive, persistence, passion, determination – that helped them get up at 4 a.m. each day to train for 6 hours a day, 6 days a week.

What’s your opportunity?

Do you have the characteristics of success? Review the following list and see where your approach might need a little fine-tuning to ensure you are doing what you need to create the life you most want to live.

When going through this process with me, Olympic runner Benita Johnson realised that although running was her passion, it had taken over her life. She ran too much and had lost her love for it. She had no vision for her life outside of sport, so I helped her build a new routine that supported a full, inspiring, balanced lifestyle. ‘I never believed that I could achieve so much while being an elite athlete!’ she told me. ‘I feel confident in all areas of my life now and look forward to an exciting future – as an athlete and beyond.’

Winner’s list: 11 characteristics of success

  1. Having a vision that’s complete, inspiring, balanced and exciting.
  2. Having a well-thought-out plan that backs up their vision and also takes their wellbeing into account.
  3. Working hard – high-level success starts with the recognition that hard work pays off.
  4. Having knowledge or training, and being committed to adapting and growing continually to improve their skills.
  5. Eagerness to learn – winners study, ask questions, read and research, then apply what they learn.
  6. Persistence – many people give up after their first rejection, but winners look for other opportunities to reach their outcome.
  7. Taking responsibility – they know that when they blame others for their actions, they disempower themselves.
  8. Networking – they value people and relationships, and their contact lists are full of people who put a high value on their friendship.
  9. Making decisions where others procrastinate.
  10. Self-reliance – taking the initiative and accepting the responsibilities of success.
  11. Living in the present – successful people don’t waste time; they use it and complete their tasks mindfully.

(Extract taken from The Life Plan, by Shannah Kennedy. Head over to bookdepository.com to order your copy or get in touch with Shannah here to find out about executive coaching options.)